Mackenzie and Matthews, begun 1852 (Nos 5-22); Ellis and Wilson, 1880-1883 (Nos 1-4 and Nos 23-26). 2-storey, basement and attic, 54-bay palace block with Scots Baronial and classical detailing; comprising 24 2-bay houses arranged in 12 mirrored pairs, and 2 3-bay mirrored houses to central pavilion. Tooled coursed granite ashlar finely finished to margins. Base course; eaves course; eaves blocking course. Granite pilastered doorways surmounted by entablatures to principal floor, reached by stone steps; regular fenestration to basement floor; gableted dormers at wallhead, breaking eaves blocking course, stone finials to apex. Predominantly crowstepped principal gables.
S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: Nos 13 and 14: central pavilion; symmetrical; 6-bay comprising 2 3-bay houses; regular fenestration to centre 2 bays at principal and 1st floors, doorways flanking to centre with single windows above, 4 dormers to attic floor above; gabled bays stepped forward to outer left and right, 3-light canted windows through basement, principal and 1st floors, with balustraded parapet forming balcony at attic floor, single window set in gablehead, stone finial to apex. Nos 7 and 8, 11 and 12, 15 and 16, 19 and 20: symmetrical; 4-bay each comprising 2 2-bay houses; doorways to centre 2 bays of principal floor, with 2 single windows above, tripartite windows to flanking bays to left and right at principal and 1st floors; 4 dormers to attic floor. Nos 5 and 6, 9 and 10, 17 and 18, 21 and 22: symmetrical; 4-bay each comprising 2 2-bay houses; doorways to centre 2 bays of principal floor, 2 single windows above, 2 dormers to attic floor; gabled bays stepped forward to outer left and right, 3-light canted windows through basement, principal and 1st floors, with balustraded parapet forming balcony at attic floor, single windows set in gablehead, stone finial to apex. Nos 3 and 4, 23 and 24: Ellis and Wilson; symmetrical; 4-bay comprising 2 2-bay houses, windows to centre of principal floor, flanked by doorways, single windows to 1st floor above, 2 dormers to attic floor, tripartite windows to principal and 1st floors of flanking bays to outer left and right, oversized gablets to attic floor with architraved windows to centre, with decorative hoodmoulds, stone finials to apex. Nos 1 and 2, 25 and 26: 4-bay comprising 2 2-bay houses, windows to centre of principal floor, flanked by doorways, single windows to 1st floor above, 2 dormers to attic floor; gabled bays stepped forward to outer left and right, 3-light canted windows through basement, principal and 1st floors with balustraded parapet forming balcony at attic floor, architraved windows set in gablehead, with scrolled ornament above, stone finials to apex.
E (RUBISLAW PLACE) ELEVATION: asymmetrical; 6-bay; 4 gabled bays to left, regular fenestration to principal floor, pair of windows to centre of 1st and attic floors, single window flanking to right, corbelled-out gablet with single window inset to bay to left at 1st floor, angle turret corbelled out to right; 2 2-storey bays to right, tripartite window to right of principal floor, with stepped hoodmould, regular fenestration to remainder, stepped-up parapet.
N (RUBISLAW TERRACE LANE) ELEVATION: predominantly regular fenestration, variety of additions.
W ELEVATION: obscured by adjoining Queen's Terrace (see separate listing).
Predominantly 2-pane sash and case windows; variety of small pane windows to N elevation. Grey slate roof with lead ridge. Coped stone skews. Coped gablehead and ridge stacks with octagonal cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
INTERIORS: not seen 2000.
RAILINGS, LAMP STANDARDS AND ANCILLARY STRUCTURES: iron railings enclosing basement to S elevation; regularly placed replacement lamp standards. L-plan granite rubble former coach house to E of Rubislaw Terrace lane, flanked by 2 square-plan gatepiers with spherical finials, and coped granite wall. Variety of granite rubble and brick faced former coach houses to Rubislaw Terrace Lane.
GARDEN TO S, BALUSTRADING, GATEPIERS, GATES AND RAILINGS: rectangular-plan garden to S of Rubislaw Terrace, low granite walls surmounted by replacement decorative railings enclosing garden to S, E and W; balustraded granite terrace enclosing garden to N, curved to entrance road to E, square-plan rough-faced piers with corniced caps at angles and flanking iron gate to centre. Fountain to centre of garden, Susan Jennifer Ball, 1992, curved grey granite baluster between pink granite rocks set in square pool.
Statement of Special Interest
B-Group with 1-10 Queen's Terrace (see separate listing). In the 19th century Aberdeen began to expand westwards following the introduction of the granite trade and the expansion of the harbour. The houses which were built at this time were a mixture of villas and terraces, with the terraces near the city centre. Rubislaw Terrace and the adjoining Queen's Terrace (see separate listing) are 2 of the grander terraces. Described by Groome as being "superior to anything of their class in the aristocratic quarter of almost any town in Scotland" (Groome, p7). Many of the terraces in this area were designed by Archibald Simpson (see separate listings), indeed Simpson was involved in the planning of Rubislaw Terrace. In contrast to Simpson's simple serene terraces, Rubislaw Terrace is a mixture of the classical and Scots Baronial styles, described by Fraser as "the rare merit of combining what is new, at least in Aberdeen, with what is, in point of taste, exceedingly beautiful" (Aberdeen Street Names, p149). The principal elevation is interrupted up by grand canted windows, with balustraded parapets, set in crowstepped gables and gableted attic windows with stone finials. Plans suggest that Mackenzie and Matthews, with James Giles the artist, were responsible for the central portion of Rubislaw Terrace (Nos 5-22), whereas Ellis and Wilson designed the more decorative outer blocks (Nos 1-4 and 23-26). The communal garden (seen also at Queen's Terrace), separated from the Terrace by a balustraded road, is also particularly fine.